Book cases on the wall of the Athenaeum.

The Athenaeum is a room and event space in Carleton’s Laurence McKinley Gould Library, named for Athena, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom.  The term “Athenaeum”, popular in the 19th Century, denotes an institution for the promotion of literary and scientific learning.

The Athenaeum is one way in which the library serves as a central educational and cultural institution of the college by promoting use of the collections through presentation and discussion of ideas.  Through the Athenaeum, the library co-hosts a wide variety of lectures, readings, discussion, book groups and seminars.  By bringing together people from different disciplines for intellectual discourse, Athenaeum events celebrate the world of books, the life of the mind, scholarly and scientific pursuits, and the arts and letters.

Athenaeum events are open to all members of Carleton College, as well as to members of the Northfield community.

Events & Receptions

As co-sponsor of events, the library will schedule the Athenaeum for events during regular library hours and will work with the event organizer to set up chairs as requested and publicize events on the library calendar.  Event organizers will make all catering, PEPS and facilities arrangements, and will provide related details to the library.

For events with a reception component, menu selections are required to be consistent with library conservation concerns and must be in accordance with the Gould Library Food and Beverage Policy  (add link here).  Event organizer is responsible for all clean-up.


To reserve this space for your event, please email: